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15.03.2013- Adventures in Baking: Earl Grey & Lemon Cupcakes

Things have been pretty quiet on the baking front in these parts of late, but that's all set to change as I've got an abundance of kitchen adventures to share with you. This recipe is something which I tried out at start of the year, taken of course from The Great British Bake Off  book, which has become something of a bible for me when it comes to trying out new bakes. These Earl Grey & Lemon Cupcakes are perfect for the spring, and are a dream bake for anyone who is as addicted to tea as I am!

Earl Grey & Lemon Cupcakes

Makes 12

For the cakes:
200ml semi-skimmed milk
2-3 Earl Grey tea bags (depending on how strong you prefer the tea flavour!)
115g softened unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
2 large eggs (at room temperature)
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

For the icing:
75g softened unsalted butter
grated zest and juice of 2 large, unwaxed lemons
375g icing sugar, sifted

1x12 hole muffin tray, lined with paper cases
Piping bag and nozzle for icing the cakes

1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (fan) or Gas Mark four.
2) Heat the milk in a saucepan until it is steaming hot, taking care that it doesn't boil over.
3) Remove the milk from the heat, then add the tea bags and leave to infuse. I found that the longer you leave the tea bags then the stronger the Earl Grey flavour is, so brew this mixture in much the same way as you make a cup of tea!
4) Once infused, squeeze the tea bags and remove them from the milk.
5) Measure 150ml of the milk mixture and leave to cool to room temperature- this is crucial as if the milk is too hot it will melt the butter in the cake mixture.
6) Take a large mixing bowl and beat the butter with the sugar until the mixutre is creamy. One by one, add the eggs, beating in well as you do so.
7) Add one third of the flour to the mixture and beat well. Also add the baking powder.
8) Add in one third of the tea infused milk and beat well again, repeating until all the flour and milk have been added.
9) Once thoroughly mixed, spoon the mixture into the cup-cake cases, until each case is approximately two thirds full.
10) Bake for about twenty minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of a cake comes out clean.
11) Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tray, before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
12) To make the icing, zest and juice the lemons before adding five tablespoons of juice to the butter and half of the icing sugar. I tend to experiment a little bit with the ratio of sugar to butter just to make sure that the icing is perfectly fluffy and sets well. You might want to add a little water to make it easier to mix, but take care that the mixture doesn't become too liquid.
13) Add the remaining icing sugar, beating well until the icing is smooth. You might want to have a taste and add a little bit more lemon juice if needed at this stage.
14) Pipe or spread onto the cupcakes and decorate with the lemon zest or decorations of your choice. For my take on this recipe, I piped the icing on using a star nozzle, and painted the inside of my piping bag with a line of yellow food colouring just to create a marbled effect and add a pop of colour to the plate.
15) Serve and enjoy.

Have you tried this recipe? If so, how did you get on? And what have you been baking lately?

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)


  1. Your baking always looks so professional. These sound yummy - I've never tried tea in a cake before! x


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